BIRD BOOK CHOICES

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We recently visited the UK and France and were lucky enough to find the RSPB Birds of Britain & Europe which we used with pleasure.  We now want to buy one but see that there is also a RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe.  Both by Rob Hume.  Please can you explain the difference?  We are avid South African birders and found our European experience enhanced by the superb book we used.  We would want a book that could be carried and which would give us all necessary aid to identification as well as some information about the birds (habitat, feeding, nesting, etc.). Please can you give me some advice?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to better books?

  • Hi SABirder

    A warm welcome to the Community from me. :-)

    I have looked on Amazon.co.uk and here is a link for RSPB Birds of Britian and Europe

    It might be that the two books you mention are just different versions.

    When I buy bird books, personally I usually choose the latest version as you get the most up to date information that is available.

    One other book to consider, is the RSPB Handbook of British Birds. When I joined the RSPB last year, I received this RSPB Handbook free, so if you aren't a member, it is worth the joining fee just for that book if the offer is still on. :-)

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • Not wishing to take royalties away from Rob Hume or the RSPB but in my opinion one of the most useful books for UK and Europe is the Collins bird guide and it is just about managable for size and weight.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    i would agree i would not be without my collins book, especially when abroud

    i say always look on the bright side of life, as you cannot see anything on the other ?

  • In reply to Merlin:

     

    Hi-

    we've covered this before on here :)

    The BEST hands down no argument field guides for Europe are the Collins guide ( Svensson Mullarney) and Birds of Europe by Lars Jonsson. :) 

    For South Africa the SASOL guide by Sinclair is good and there are also separate guides illustrated by Nik Borrow and Brian Small to east and west africa.

    S

     

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    I agree with Seymour and others that the Collins guide is the best you can get and is pocketable in the paperback form

    To answer your question as to the difference between the two similar RSPB guides

    Both are DK produced books that use annotated Photo-realistic images rather than the more conventional Drawn / Painted Images of the Collins 

    The Birds of Britain and Europe is a conventionally sized "pocket" field guide whilst the Complete Birds of Britain and Europe is a hardcover coffee table style book. which is A4+ in size

    The Complete Birds of Britain and Europe uses the exact same images as the smaller book which means images and text are larger, which does help at times

    The Complete Guide also comes with a CD of birdsong (or did with the older version I have)

    Best regards
    Nigel

    | My Images |  Newport Wetlands on Flickr @barman58

  • Hi

    a new release is EUROPE'S BIRDS- a photographic handbook ( actually a fat field guide)

    I have a copy coming and will review here-

    If it's as good as BRITAIN'S BIRDS by the same team it will be fabulously useful

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • Just to note this thread is11 years old!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    seymouraves said:
    a new release is EUROPE'S BIRDS- a photographic handbook ( actually a fat field guide)

    Guessing this is the new release   S.    On brief glimpse,  it looks to have good photographic detail like the previous WildGuides publications and suitable also for the non experienced birders,   thanks for the heads up and look forward to your review in due course .  

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    It’s fantastic for photos/ID features, though you need a microscope to see the distribution maps
  • In reply to seymouraves:

    Seymour if as you say it is as good as the British Birds book it will be worth parting with some hard earned cash for. The British Birds book tends to be our go to book nowadays but stays mainly in the birding sac in the car as it is a tad heavy

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can